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Showing posts from September, 2015

Where is the "UNDO" button?

Sometimes I need a "UNDO" button:the lesson I planned is a complete disaster;I never copied the test I need for this period;my students are angry because I overlooked an infraction for one student but not for another;the teacher next door was out of school three days with a sick child and I didn't take the time to ask about the child, offer my help, or just share an encouraging word;a student is struggling in my class but I don't offer any extra help;in impatience I criticized a student and embarrassed him in front of his peers;homeroom attendance? I completely forgot to check and submit! Was everyone there?;that girl was visibly upset by something, but I didn't stop to see what was wrong or how I could help;oh, I was supposed to attend a meeting this morning!
Life doesn't have a "UNDO" button.
At times I want to take back my words, change my actions or reactions, or even go back and "insert" what I've omitted. But I can't. And I fe…

Emulating My Teacher Heroes (1)

My mom tells everyone that I have only ever wanted to do one thing with my life--teach, and she is correct. Even in high school I analyzed my teachers and their teaching methods and identified what I wanted to do like they did. One particular role model was Miss Carole Ewing.

I wasn't the only one who looked forward to Miss Ewing's social studies classes; many of my classmates also loved and admired her. Miss Ewing frequently wore yellow, always smiled enormously, and unfailingly taught with energy and passion. We secretly dubbed her the "Sunshine Lady," and once even secured our principal's permission and assistance to give her a surprise "Sunshine Party" in her classroom.

Her room was full of yellow balloons, yellow streamers, yellow cake, and 25 or so teenagers dressed in yellow shirts. As she entered we all sang, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine..." Of course, she gave us her characteristic grin and the party began.

There were many thin…

Enter Stage Right

A teacher, mentor and friend gave me a piece of advice that has resonated in my heart and mind for years:
"If you are going to be a good teacher, you have to be a good actor (actress)".
What did he mean?

Regardless of the kind of day I'm having, I need to set my personal difficulties/thoughts aside and teach as though everything were great for me.

That is a troubling statement--I can't share my life with my students? I can't be sad, frustrated, angry or discouraged?

I don't think that he meant that I had to be dispassionate and stoic with my students. It's much more than that.

I have a choice to make: will I let my emotions rule my thoughts, words and actions, or will I bring my emotions under control and think, speak and act professionally?
Especially in the present time my students see, hear and experience life controlled by free-range emotions. What they don't often see is caged emotions--emotions under control. I can, and should, be that model for …

Called To Teach

  I am called and gifted to be a teacher in public education. As such, I commit to begin each day believing in and expecting the best of each of my students, regardless of the successes and/or failures of the previous day.         Inside the classroom, I maximize the time by creating learning opportunities to keep the students involved in the learning process. I strive not to waste time—my time or theirs—and to model for them a work ethic and a commitment to excellence. As I model a passion for learning and for my subject matter, I can inspire the same in them. Outside the classroom, I am still a teacher and a role model for my students. At school events, in a public restaurant, on a walking trail, at home, and in church I am the same as I am in the classroom.
I am committed to excellence, passion and integrity. I will live my life in this way, and I will seek to develop these traits in my students as well.
As part of my graduate work a few years ago, I was assigned to write my "p…